Saturday, April 6, 2013

How to Survive a Zombie Attack

     This morning my team and I headed off to fight the oncoming wave of zombies in Gulfport.  My team, DOA (Dead on Arrival) consisted of myself, my husband, my little brother, my older sister, and her husband.  We arrived to what looked like just another 5K, with one major difference:

     Zombies!  Playing bagpipes?  Well, just this one at least.  The rest were trying to steal the tags we were wearing around our waists.  The goal is to finish with at least one tag per team.  We started with three tags per team member, so a total of fifteen tags.  You'd think it would be easy, but it wasn't.  We crawled under chicken wire, slid down a wet slope, ran through zombie-infested woods, and waded through deep mud holes all before we were halfway to the finish line.  At this point J lost both of his shoes, and as he searched for them a zombie came up behind him to snatch his remaining two tags.  I had lost all of mine, so I shouted for him to look out, and ran to block the zombie.  That's when we found out that not all the zombies on this run would be the slow, easily avoided "walkers".  This one took off after him, and chased him deeper into the course.  She finally gave up, and J kept his two tags, but it had cost him his shoes. Our team took the moment to regroup, and we found we were down to 3 tags total.  J had two, and my sister had one.  As my little brother and I went back to search for J's missing shoes, the rest caught their breaths in preparation for what was next.  The zombie who was guarding the mud pit that ate J's shoes gave us a good tip.  If we could snatch a tag back from a zombie or find one on the course, we could keep it and have a better chance of surviving.  I ran back to the group with the news.  J left his remaining tags with the group and returned to the mud pit with me to regain a few more.

Wading through the muck.

That's not a tag!
     He didn't find any tags, but he did get one shoe back.  He was a champ and decided to continue the course in his socks.  After that point the zombies became more and more aggressive.  As did we.  After making it out of the muck in the woods, my brother and I decided to double back to sneak up on a zombie who had a handful of tags in her fist.  Her back was to us as we approached, and I was reaching out to grab a tag from her when another runner shouted for her to look out.  The zombie turned in time to move the tags from my grasp, and the other runner used that as her chance to get past with her last tag still attached to her waist.  Frustrated, we moved on.

     At this point we were adopted by some little teenager who had left his dad in the beginning.  This kid helped us block off zombies, and tried to help us win back some tags a time or two.  As our group moved from the zombie infested woods to the open grass, we saw the next obstacle: a series of hay bales you had to climb only to get to the other side where zombies on steroids were waiting for you.  My little brother and I decided we would be the blockers for J.  We were successful in getting him through the first batch of zombies with both tags in tact, but  when we went back for my sister, J decided to go ahead alone.  He lost both of his tags, and my sister lost her last one.  Thinking we were near the finish line, we accepted defeat and assumed the zombie position.

I don't make a good zombie.
     We were wrong to think it was over.  Just ahead was a mock quicksand pit made of water and cornstarch with two zombies.  We noticed another group that only had one tag left, so we figured what the heck, we'll help them guard their last tag and hopefully find another one in the bargain.

Digging through the muck.
     My sister went into full country girl mode when one of the tutued zombies tried to steal the tag off the other team.  She tackled her, and almost won the tag back, but then she lost her footing in the goo and had to let it go.  She tried really hard to find another one though.  Soon we had to accept defeat again and move on.  This is where our luck started to turn around.  We came to the next station, where we could shoot paintball guns at zombies in an attempt to hit them in the head and win back a tag.  Our men were successful, as were a few members of the other group.  We continued on with a new spring in our step.

J took out a zombie with a head shot on the first try.
Our men are heroes.
     After this our two groups merged into one machine in survival mode.  We made it through the next group of nurses/doctors-turned-zombies.  Then we came to another tag challenge where we would have two shots to shoot a real (moving) zombie in the head with a Nerf bow and arrow.  I'll admit here that my archery skills are nonexistent.  The zombie in footie pajamas actually laughed at me.  No one won back a tag on this challenge, but we found a few more along the way.  Before we rounded the next curve we tallied it up, and we found that everyone had a tag but me.  We then had to jump a few hurdles with zombies waiting between each jump, and J lost his hard-won tag.  I suddenly became a bodyguard for my little brother as he went through the last obstacle.  Finally we ran into the last zombie of the race.  Although I knew I'd be considered a survivor because my teammates had tags, I couldn't help but want to finish with a  tag of my own.  So when I noticed that the zombie facing me had a tag between his teeth, I grinned.  He grinned back when he saw what I was thinking, and I lunged at him.  He swerved, but I was determined not to be thwarted again.  I tackled him, got him on the ground, and literally ripped the tag from his teeth.  I was more proud of that tag than anything else, teeth marks and all.  We finally crossed the finish line as survivors.  The team we adopted made it through alive as well.  It was such a fun-filled day, and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely.

     We did lose one along the way...
RIP J's shoes June 2008-April 2013
     But we managed to survive...

Or did we?
Coming soon: How to Survive a Zombie Attack, the video.

*If anyone is interested, here is the link to the Zombie Run.  Proceeds benefit the Smile Train, which helps children with cleft pallets get corrective surgery.*


  1. This was such a BLAST! I had so much fun with all of you today, and I can't wait to see what's in store for Zombie Run 2014!

  2. If they come back this way we are doing it again!

  3. Yes, ma'am! I have no doubt we can put at least two teams together for next year!